Saturday, November 1, 2008


He didn't hate life. He was in awe of it. Of the endless possibilities. What bothered him was that he had lived it all wrong up to this point, and he couldn't see a way to change it after living this way for so long.

He ran at the soccer ball and kicked it as hard as he could, and watched as the dog chased it down and began to bite it and paw at it. Normally he would run over and take the ball from her and dribble it along the grass until they were in a standoff once again, and then boot it across to the other side of the yard, but he just stood there and then looked down at the ground.

He walked to the stool and sat down and looked at the dead fruits collected on the barbecue, an attempt to extend the life of his lawnmower. He picked one up and stared at it. He had never figured out what kind of fruit it was and he didn't particularly care. He just sat there thinking about the same thing he always did. It didn't make sense to him how he was sitting there next to a barbeque in a backyard holding a dead fruit. He had similar thoughts before but this time it was different. This time he was sure. He picked up a basketball and dribbled towards the lawn, and the dog came running in to play. He did some fancy moves to keep the dog from getting the ball and she eventually backed away, waiting for him to throw it.

"Come on retard come get the ball." But she just waited. "Alright"

He let the ball drop from his hand and it rolled across the patio. The dog stared confused for a second then trotted after the ball and gave it a half-hearted paw, but she knew he wasn't going to play. He walked to the door and opened it.

"Come on retard, let's go inside."

The dog waited, confused at the brevity of their playtime.

"Let's go retard. Inside."

She trotted in, panting and still wanting to play, but he just sat down and petted her.

"You're a good dog."

He was always afraid of leaving her alone. Maybe that's the only reason he had put it off for so long. But now he figured she would be better off with whoever found her. Hopefully someone who would kick the ball because they enjoyed it, instead of just going through the motions because he knew it made her happy.

He propped the backdoor open so she could get in and out. He left the faucet dripping so he knew she had water and dumped the whole bag of dog food onto her bowl engulfing it. He walked into the bathroom, started the water, and shut the door.

When he first saw the red, he was struck with thoughts that maybe he was making a mistake. He remembered how she would get in the trash if he left her alone for too long, and how she would then lay on her stomach with her ears down staring up at him with a sad face, as if she was the victim because you wouldn't play with her all day long. He wondered how long she might lay like that right outside the door until she realized he wasn't coming out. And he worried that whoever eventually found her would find trash all over the place and thought maybe he should put this off until another day, when he'd remember to take out the trash first. But then he began to relax, and he was glad that he knew it would be over soon.

The last thing he heard was her pawing at the door.

The last thing he thought was "I hope Retard will be alright."

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